(Continued from last time) Prosper’s method of announcing his departure was masterful as he completed another monumental shift for the company. Morale was much improved having completed the changes necessary to support a new business focus. He would now take the opportunity to share the news with them of the coming changes.
With their futures looking bright and full of new opportunities, the employees embraced the idea of a new leader who was ‘one of them’ and had been with the company for many years. The fact that Person was mentored into the position he was now by Prosper was appreciated. They knew him, they knew what he was like, and they knew his history.
Person was overwhelmed at the response coming from his colleagues and coworkers. He had anticipated a different response, with remorse at the idea of losing Prosper as their leader. He expected an emotional audience, one that needed reassurance and hope. As he looked out at the faces of his ‘employees’ he saw smiles and sincere acceptance. He felt emotional and could not stop a few tears from escaping.
Regaining his composure, he delivered a speech that was different than he intended, but held the same emphasis. Each person was necessary, there were challenges ahead in the transition, and he would rely on them heavily. Their vendors, partners, customers, and the media would point out flaws or express concerns over this new development, but the company must remain united in purpose.
Person was worried about being in charge and keeping the company afloat. Only a year ago things had looked so dark, and he did not want this to happen again on his watch. He could not be the reason the company failed and for people having to find new jobs. As his understanding of the job had grown over the last six months, his apprehension had also grown. It was because of Prosper confidence that he had not given up entirely.
As Person listened to the applause at the end of his speech, he relaxed his grasp on the podium. Looking over their faces he felt certain that doing this job would be possible for him. He could lead this large and diverse company and realized it wasn’t all on his shoulders, it never had been. He was only one part of the company and the people before him were also a part. They too had remained with the company even during difficult times.
Person learned a great deal through the next year as he stepped into Prosper’s shoes and began his new role. Prosper had continued the role of mentor, working on Person’s lack of confidence. As they met one day, Person confided that his most difficult challenge was being disliked by so many people. The competitors were fierce and ruthless, more than he had ever realized or thought possible. “Think of it this way” Prosper suggested with a smile, “They must find you a worthy opponent.”
—————Thoughts that motivated this section of the story—————
In this story I wanted to reflect on living up to a legacy
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. - KJV
11 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. - ASV
In Matthew 5:12 we are given further reason why rejoicing in hardship is logical and possible; it is all about your perspective. I admit my perspective still struggles to see my reward in heaven as something to be counted. I didn’t earn it, and yet every year more rewards are accruing and promises made are already in the works to be answered. Still I don’t see them or understand how it all works.
Not only do I struggle with the promises about my cup overflowing with things I will not be able to contain joy over, I also struggle with the finality of the human condition. Wicked and evil will continue to exist and thrive in this world, and that is what I read into this verse. From way back, men who listened to God (prophets) were at least unpopular, and at most – murdered and hated. This verse tells me that we will continue to see that happen in one way or another.
I want to see the follower who believes Jesus softening the world, like salt that makes everything taste better. It is a nice thought, but one that will eventually lead to disappointment. Our faith in people will fail. They who love you will disappoint you or even hurt you. If that happens because of your faith, Jesus is commending it already and comparing it to the faithful prophets in history. We can set our foundation firmly upon the Lamb of God who was and is triumphant, and all our sorrows fade away.